Friday, 9 August 2013


Sounds romantic doesn't it, "So Douglas where did you go for your two week break?" "Ecton Sewage Farm", "Nice!". Ecton sewage farm conjours up some pretty grotty mental imagery but it doesn't stink, not the area I was at, though the front area near Billing Aquadrome does stink bad. And when you think what birds and bugs like it's pretty much perfect though it does have to be said it has somewhat be modernised since I was a kid, I so wish when I was kid that when we use to come down here to swim I was birder, but it still good on so many levels.....
I came in from the Cogenhoe Mill campsite and crossed the river this is the view looking up stream towards Northampton, on top of the hill on the left is the village of Cogenhoe the area under the hill is a proposed site for gravel extraction, it would be shame to loose out on these views, the Nene branches off into two points coming down the left side of the frame it's canal like for the boats, the water is shallow and clear and good views of small carp, very hypnotic watching fish.
 To the right (image below) is a stone bridge that leads up to the Ecton sewage farm (it's in the left corner, squint again, the Nene merges back into one river just a little further down from here. So it forms this meadow/pasture bit of land that's like an island, in the winter when crossing this bit you have to watch out for low flying swans and geese...I'm not joking!
 It normally has a herd of cattle grazing in here but they were absent today, a lot of cow pats and wildflowers scattered around means it was time for me to get the Mikon Crappix out. nothing out of the ordinary but plenty of what was those in the know have already figured out I'm not very "clued-up" to Butterflies but I'm going to have a go at identifying them, half the fun, if I'm wrong let me know.
I headed over to the weir where we used to swim as kids, great days, we used (all the kids on the estate) to walk from Rectory Farm estate about four miles's another great place just to sit back and watch fish and hope for a Kingfisher...
 This is the bridge that leads up the track to the best bits, it looks deceptive in the image, the wall as you walk along the top is only knee high
 and very narrow...
I was exploring today so images weren't high on my importance list, along the track there were grass snakes, plenty of dragonflies and moths (shaded), Cettis Warbler, Black Caps, Chiff-Chaffs and Willow Warblers, as I got to the first lake you cross over a feeder stream, there was a Kingfisher there too I got this "arty" Grey Heron, the church in the background is Ecton church.
 I got this moth that I do need help with, I tried various websites but all the images display the moths with closed wings...ooops
I carried on up the track to the reed bed, I got a brief glimpse of a juvenile Water Rail and a chorus of Water Rail squealing as it fled from view and a Sedge Warbler to. I got to the end of the track by the A45 and walked along this "corridor" to see what I could find..if you look to the left of the frame you might make out the vehicles going down the dual carriage-way.
 It was heaving with bees, never seen so many and dragonflies and of course butterflies, the Nikon was annoying me by now compare the two images below of what I think are Commas, the second one (though I applied a tad too much unsharp mask) with the 1d mark 3 and a flippin' 500mm prime lens. I did like this species though, they kept landing on my arms, my hat and when trying to get one macro shot it departed it's perch and landed on my nose, I enjoyed that.


 Even though these species are quite common, it was the numbers, a lot! I missed a few species too.
As I was walking back along the track the vegetation rustled, was it a rabbit? Was it a small mammal? Or perhaps another grass snake, nope it was a Common Frog crossing the path, I got down to it's level (so tiny) took a few snaps as it hopped along.

 I was severely short on bird species but my mind was on trying to get to grips with the Mukon Codpiece, it's even worse trying to process the images, with no USM applied it looks like it's been "over" done in Noise Reduction and regardless if I use the programme that came with the camera, photoshop or Capture One when you apply sharpening it just looks over sharpened....I'm trying to justify the purchase of a macro lens be fair.
Again if I got any species wrong let me know please


  1. Butterflies all correct today Douglas. I can't help with the moth. I'm not even sure it is a moth.
    The Heron is a beautiful shot. It would make a good print. The packhorse bridge is a very good example.

    1. Thanks Adrian, that bridge still even has little wooden strips on the footpath part of the bridge to stop animals slipping when they cross.

    2. Douglas get on to the landowners. If there are wooden strips there should be a big yellow sign saying 'SLIPPERY WHEN WET' and possibly another saying 'BEWARE LOW PARAPET'. Landowners can't be too careful these days.

    3. That'll be a sad day, luckily those that slip on the wooden strips normally end up tripping over the parapet into the Nene...natural selection you might say lol

  2. A good selection of nik'd cool pics there Douglas (sorry!!)
    Looks like your recce was successful, with lots of good habitat for future reference?
    I like that little bridge, they don't make them like that anymore (you're now going to tell me that it's only a couple of years old!!) I still like it though.
    I see you've now got to grips with the Butterfly ID's! Moths are next then? I'll give you the first one!'s a (1405) Mother of Pearl (pleuroptya ruralis)
    Go on! know you need one!! and it's a lot lighter to carry!
    btw. Great shots of the Swallows and especially the Osprey in the previous posts (interesting info from the ring)...[;o)

    1. Thanks Trevor I was running out of dodgy names for the dodgy Mukon:)
      Definately some good habitat, there were Bearded Tits wintering there during the winter, the bridge is old but there is a lot of history in the area, there's even an ancient fishing pond that dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period.
      I was so close to the moth id, the web page I visited only had the scientific names and i was looking at Pleuroptya ruralis, especially as in my mind when the light caught the underside it reminded me of a pearl, I wasn't confident enough.
      I'm seriously tempted by a macro lens, we'll have to change your name from "The Herald" to "The Lens Pusher" lol

    2. Hmmm! don't know about that name change!
      I've found that if you get 'stuck' with a scientific name for a moth just try google-ing it and most times some of the search results will show the common name, if it has one!...not all do though!! Bizarrely there's one moth that's called UNCERTAIN...rather confusing when it comes to filing the images!!...[;o)

  3. Great photos. Surprising what you can find in areas which others may dismiss due to the place name! I had a search through my insect book before I looked to see if anyone else had commented. I was edging towards mother of pearl but wasn't 100%. It is great to expand our identification skills. Moths are particularly difficult though! They looks so blooming alike!

    1. This place can stink at the front part, but luckily the area I was concentarting on isn't too bad :) locally birders know it as a good area, before it was modernised it used to have (and still does) wintering waders.
      I agree too about butterflies and moths i followed one your links on your site for butterflies and thought "not too hard", went onto moths and reached for the anadin lol they are so hard at times.